JD’s Ballpark Tour, Seventeenth Inning (San Francisco, CA)

Part XVI: AT&T Park

(AKA: The End of a Long Journey)

(AKA: Saving the Best View For Last)

(AKA: Seeing a Clinching Celebration)
(AKA: Prelude to a Championship Run)

I will come out and say it, because of my slight bias as a Dodgers fan, I will say that if it wasn’t for the Giants playing there, I would rank this as the second best ballpark in the majors. As it is, this ballpark easily ranks in my top 5. San Francisco’s AT&T Park is that amazing and everybody that’s a true baseball fan should go there at least once.

The night before I was to attend the Giants game against the Padres, I made it a point to watch the Giants/Dodgers game on TV to see my hometown Dodgers clinch the NL West division! Watching that game was amazing… but that also meant that the Giants could clinch a playoff spot at home on the game I was attending. San Francisco had yielded a strong team all season, and I predicted they would be a tough out. In fact, at the time of this game, I assumed that the Giants would not only win their Wild Card game, but with their NLDS series and play the Dodgers in the NLCS. Part of that was wishful thinking to see an epic Giants/Dodgers duel for the pennant. Little did I know I would see the start of an amazing run into October.

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Ballpark 15: AT&T Park, elevation 10 feet

The game: Padres @ Giants on September 25, 2014

After leaving Oakland and spending the day at the Golden Gate Bridge, I made my way early on to AT&T Park with Kelsey to catch some BP and really look around the entire cove of the park. The place was buzzing with excitement as they playoffs were drawing near. Many believed there would be some games for the Giants in the NLDS, and some were hopeful for the NLCS. There were a few fans that were thinking World Series. However, nobody I talked to thought the Giants would win the whole thing. Not at that time, anyway.
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JD’s Ballpark Tour, Sixteenth Inning (Oakland, CA)

Part XV: O.co Coliseum

In late August, I was aware how many hits I was getting on my blog, and was wondering how far I could take this. After visiting Texas, I had visited 13 ballparks so far this season… and immediately thought, “what if I could get to half the ballparks this season, and possibly get the other half next season?” I started making plans, and this would culminate in an epic final week. With the baseball season approaching its final week and me sitting on 13 ballparks in one season, I was ready to head up to the Bay Area to watch two vitally important games on both sides of the bay. The two games I’d watch would have playoff implications, and it would prove to be legen… wait for it…

Ballpark 14: O.co Coliseum, elevation 25 feet

The game: Angels @ Athletics on September 24, 2014

Both the Angels and A’s were making a playoff push, and this was possibly (and ultimately) the final home game for the Oakland A’s in the 2014 baseball season. Even though this was an afternoon game, the crowds really came out for this most important match. For this Bay Area trip, I had a couple guests with me! My dear friend Kelsey, and my good buddy, Jeff Pope who is kind of a celebrity. Not only is he the PA announcer for the Ontario Reign, but he is one of the morning radio personalities on the Mix in San Jose. When they heard about my possible trip up to the Bay Area, they couldn’t pass up a golden opportunity to join me on this quest. Thank you both!

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JD’s Ballpark Tour… A Beginning? (Boston, Mass.)

Part 0: The Prequel to the Tour at Fenway Park

I will make this a very quick post just to include this ballpark on my travels for the 2014 year. Hey, I went here… it still counts, right? With the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombings still fresh in our minds, my family and I decided to run out there during marathon weekend. Since the Red Sox were also home that weekend (as they always are), this was too good an opportunity to pass up.

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Ballpark 13: Fenway Park, elevation 20 feet

The game: Orioles @ Red Sox on April 19, 2014

After running the Boston 5K Saturday morning and going through all that emotion of crossing the finish line on Boylston, I picked up my medal and headed back to the hotel room my family was residing at so I could make the jaunt to Fenway Park. This would prove to be a tough commute because the Government Center station had just closed the previous month! This made the transfer between the blue line and the green line a bit more difficult. But, I made it to Fenway well before the game, and there was already a huge crowd there! The reason for the huge crowd? It was PHOTO DAY!

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